No need to ‘over consult’ says council
If you were hoping to have your say on the annual plan for the district this year - you’re out of luck.
Matamata-Piako District Council has invoked its power to forego formal public consultation on most of its 2017-2018 annual plan this year.
Instead, consultation will be narrowed down to certain topics, such as the proposals over the Easter Trading bylaws.
New Zealand councils no longer have to open up their doors to full public consultation over their annual plans, if it does not differ significantly from their long-term plans, which were reviewed every three years.
The changes were made under the Local Government Act, in part, to cut back on repetition when it came to reviewing issues already covered in the long-term plan.
Mayor Jan Barnes said the council believed there were no significant changes over the next year which would warrant formal, public-wide consultation.
‘‘We believe we have covered off things thoroughly in our long-term plan and over the coming year, there is nothing significant changing.
‘‘But there will be bylaws and certain subjects that we will be engaging people on, as we go forward.’’
Barnes said the council was conscious not to ‘‘over-consult’’ and ‘‘wear people out’’.
‘‘We do take consultation seriously and a lot of information about certain topics are already going to be out there in the community, through our Council In Focus [newspaper feature], for example.’’
The annual plan must be adopted by June 30.